I'm a non-competitive runner (actually, basically a non-runner) but I want to run an 8k race on June 3rd. The thing is I have to run it in under 50 minutes, and I would love to run it much faster than that.
I am very fit (10+ workouts a week, rower). I run once in a blue moon for cross training. On the treadmill recently I ran 5k in something like 27:30, but I have found I run (somewhat) faster outdoors with what seems like the same amount of effort. I don't ever remember running more than ~40 minutes in one go.
I can run 3x a week, at most, starting next week. This will be on top of rowing/weights/some cycling. What should I do - long runs? sprints? things I've never heard of?
Any advice is appreciated.
2 sessions of intervals and then one longer slower run a week. Your cardio is probably decent you just need to get time on your feet for an extended period, maybe 45 - 60 minutes. For the 2 sessions maybe run some 800 or 1000s at a decent effort with 1 or 2 minutes of rest in between. I wouldn't worry too much about structure just get used to running a faster, harder pace and then recovering.
For fun you could run a hill workout once a week instead of one of the interval sessions. That will teach you to withstand some hurtin'.